Illinois authorities, who are currently drafting the first ever regulations for the medical marijuana sector in the state, have slashed patient’s fees and erased a clause that drew the ire of gun enthusiasts.
A individual will be required to fork out $100 to obtain a medical marijuana card in the state as per the initial rules that were released on Friday, which will help guide Illinois’ four-year pilot program. Veterans and disabled persons will pay $50 per year.
The fees are a marked reduction from the initial $150 and $75 that were earlier suggested by the state’s Department of Public Health after patients protested against the charges, terming them exorbitant.
The clause on guns has so far aroused more controversy since the draft rules were unveiled in January. Some medical marijuana patients have been quoted on record as saying that they would rather use their marijuana illegally than let go of their firearms owner ID cards, which was one of the requirements in the first draft.
“I’m happy to see that they have changed the provision,” Republican Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat who is the sponsor of the medical marijuana law is a member of the law’s voting committee, told Associated Press. “I did ask them to remove it. I’m not the only person who did.”
The clause that removed gun language was welcomed by medical marijuana advocates.
“Anything that makes it less burdensome for the patients is always a good thing,” said Julie Falco of Chicago, a multiple sclerosis patient who relies on medical marijuana to alleviate the resulting pain.
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